If you are beginning to notice pain in your hips while running, or you’re developing common running problems like IT Band pain or knee injuries, it might be time to check yourself for leg crossover.
What is leg crossover?
Leg crossover can be a symptom of misalignment and adduction in the hips. It happens when one leg swings inward when running, so that it lands too far across the opposite stride. Leg crossover isn’t necessarily harmful on its own, rather, it can be an indicator that things aren’t flowing smoothly above the knees. You may also find that leg crossover masks other troubles like hip drop.
How do I know if I have leg crossover?
It can be a bit tricky to identify leg crossover because the time it takes for your foot to land and lift in a running stride can be less than a third of a second. Instead of trying to watch for it in a mirror in front of a treadmill, it’s easier to observe your footprints. Take a short run on wet sand or in snow to create footprints. If you can’t make it to the beach, try hosing down some pavement and running through the puddle. Your wet shoes will leave prints behind.
What to look for
If you can, run along a straight line painted on the running surface. Draw it with chalk yourself if you have to. Observe where your footprints have fallen along the line. Runners with correct foot placement will find their feet align, with approximately one third of each foot landing on the line. Runners with leg crossover can see that the footprints may be completely in line, with two thirds of the footprint or more lining up. This clearly indicates that one foot is falling too far inward.
What should I do if I have leg crossover?
If you’ve noticed the tell-tale signs, don’t worry too much. Practice running with correct form over short distances. Use a painted line on a sports field (not a road, as you won’t be watching for cars) and correct your gait with each stride. Your body will correct itself over time as you retrain your leg to swing less, and your foot to fall in the right place.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.